I have now submitted a total of three flash fiction pieces to open submission calls. Anyone out there who is a writer will read this and probably think, “Three? That’s it? You have a long way to go sister.” That’s probably true, but we all have to start somewhere.
The recent submissions were for the Maryland Writers Association. I submitted two stories under 3,000 words. The theme was Maryland, so I wanted to tell a story about a local legend. After interviewing a few friends I discovered we have (or had) a Sasquatch sitting in the area. Intrigued, I looked into the story and sure enough, there was a siting and a short description of what happened. A man fishing spotted the beast and reported it to authorities. Recently you may have read my blog recounting the homeless woman I gave a ride to in my area. I was inspired to write a story that would mix the local legend of the Sasquatch and the woman who lives in her yard. I think it’s an enchanting quirky story, here is a snippet.
Tilly holds her breath, her hands clench so tightly her dirty fingernails pierce her skin. This was a crime she hadn’t expected. Instantly her gut tells her to turn him away, to run, hide, protect her belongings! Her treasures in her house suddenly feel exposed. Cursing herself, she maneuvers her hands behind her back to peel her own wedding ring from her knotty pinky finger and slip it into her pocket. Her last true treasure, the ring Ernie gave her when she told him he was going to be a dad.
“Tilly. I was a different man then. I would never do it again. The earth has provided for me, it’s all I need. Believe me.” Bernie uses the back of his hand to rub his eye.
“That’s horrible. Stealing from the dead? Your soul will have no rest for what you’ve done.”
It was a lot of fun to write and my beta readers all seemed to enjoy it. The other submission is about a woman in the 1960s who takes a job at The Baltimore Sun. This was a flash fiction I wrote for a challenge back in September. I placed 11 out of 15 (15 being high). That was a great feeling! I elaborated on the story a bit but feel it is a good one and hope they accept one of the stories. Here is a snippet from that story.
In time, I began to love the newsroom despite my previous thoughts on owning a career and my boss. I swam in chaos with a pride. The flurry of men talking in ways I didn’t hear men speak outside; women clicking away at their typewriters, phones ringing and being slammed down, shouting, laughing, the occasional crying. I loved the scene and being part of it. The smell of cigarettes burned the air mixing with the odors of salty paper and icky chemicals. When I worked late into the night, the smoke would clear and I could feel the silence in my bones. It brought me closer to John. I would talk to him alone in the newsroom as I sat typing final copy or making edits. The tap of each letter echoed, and my fingers tap danced through the night. Leaving meant going back to my empty home. A cave with no light or warmth.
If my stories are rejected I will share them with you to read on my blog, however, if they are accepted I will shout it from rooftops and boast shamefully allowing myself to swell with pride.
On to the next challenge.